Erasmus Harland was head of the department of child health, University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica. He was born in Brazil, where his father, Sydney Cross Harland, an expert on cotton genetics, was working as a general adviser to the state cotton industry of Sao Paulo. His mother, Olive Sylvia Harland née Atteck, was of Chinese origin. Harland was educated by his father up to age of 11, and was then sent from Peru, where the family were living, to an English preparatory school and subsequently to Bryanston School in Dorset. He went on to study medicine at St John’s College, Cambridge and Guy’s Hospital Medical School, qualifying with the MRCS LRCP in 1961 and later gaining his MB BChir.
He was a house officer at the Miller Hospital, Greenwich and to the Royal South Hants Hospital. He then became a senior house officer to Douglas Hubble [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VII, p.280], professor of paediatrics at Birmingham University.
Harland worked at the Medical Research Council’s Child Nutrition Research Unit in Kampala, Uganda, and then became a lecturer in child health at the University of Bristol. He was subsequently appointed as a senior lecturer in paediatrics at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and then as professor of paediatrics in Kingston, Jamaica. He was later a senior consultant paediatrician at the Military Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. After his retirement, he continued to visit Uganda regularly to teach.
Outside medicine, he enjoyed music – he played classical guitar, lute and viol – photography and travel. He and his wife, Ruth (née Kreuger), lived in Snainton, North Yorkshire, the same village as his great-grandfather, Thomas, and in his father’s house, Cliff Grange, built in 1789. They had three children: Jane, Andrew and Zac.
[Harlan Family in America http://www.harlanfamily.org/who.htm#Erasmus – accessed 13 July 2018; Harland SC. Nine lives: the autobiography of a Yorkshire scientist. Boson Books, Raleigh NC, 2001 www.bosonbooks.com/boson/freebies/harland/harland.pdf – accessed 13 July 2018]